Dogs are good. Dog owners are dicks. Not all of them, but clearly a lot of them. Because in my city, every patch of lovingly tended flowers has a sign begging people not to let their dogs shit and piss on it. The same signs show up on lawns in the suburbs. And they don’t stop the dog owners. The flowers die, the grass goes brown, lawns and gardens smell like piss. If you’re one of these frustrated sign-posters, says Reddit, maybe you should put up a poison warning instead.
If neighbours don’t respect your “no dogs” sign, replace it with a “WARNING: lawn sprayed with pesticide” sign. So suggests Reddit user FantasyMaster85 on the Unethical Life Pro Tips subreddit. When appeals to decency don’t work, appeals to self-interest still might. You could also warn neighbours with flyers, act like you’re being a responsible resident who just cares for the well-being of the animal that took a dump on your porch.
This isn’t anywhere near foolproof. Your neighbours might call your bluff. They might, as one redditor points out, start blaming you any time their dogs get sick. You might end up in an escalating turf war that brings misery upon all your houses unto the eighth generation. To see how furious people get on behalf of their dogs, watch the comments to this post. You also might scare people with kids, and you do not want to fuck with scared parents.
But sometimes it just might work, and the same principle applies to other disputes: If someone won’t do the right thing to help others, they might do it to save their own arse. You can’t bully your way through life always jumping to the most hostile approach—but sometimes, it’s the only way to get someone to shape up.
Even during Evil Week, I won’t recommend you actually poison your green spaces just to scare off dogs. Animals don’t deserve to get sick just because they have shitty selfish owners. And even when you bluff, check first what you’re legally allowed to put down on your lawn. You’ll feel pretty stupid if you end up in court over pretend pesticide.